Airlines in the Middle East will require up to 1,963 new passenger and cargo aircraft in the next 20 years, valued at $408 billion, according to a new report by European airplane manufacturer Airbus.
Passenger traffic in the region is estimated to increase by 6.2 per cent annually during the period, prompting airlines to grow their fleets, stated Airbus.
In the passenger market, the aircraft fleet is expected to grow nearly three times its current size in 20 years, with 1,384 new deliveries and nearly 522 aircraft currently in service to be replaced.
The report also predicts that 57 new production freighter planes will be delivered to the region’s airlines over the next two decades.
Combining demand, carriers in the region will acquire around 792 single-aisle aircraft and over 1,000 widebodies, including 826 twin-aisle aircraft and 345 very large aircraft.
“The Middle East market will witness significant growth in the aviation industry over the next 20 years,” said Andrew Gordon, Airbus director of Strategic Marketing and Analysis.
“Growing economies, increasing numbers of tourists and ongoing economic diversification will drive the development of passenger traffic.”
The regional ‘big three’, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways and Etihad have swiftly been ramping up capacity in recent years, and are among the biggest clients for both Airbus and its American rival Boeing. Qatar Airways is the launch customer for Airbus’ new A350, and recently said it may also consider being the launch customer for Boeing’s upcoming aircraft, the 777-9X.
Globally, the Airbus report estimated a need for some 28,200 passenger and freighter aircraft valued at nearly $4 trillion over the next 20 years. The forecast predicts total demand for 1,710 very large aircraft, 6,970 twin aisle widebodies and 19,520 single aisle aircraft.